Summer means mushy, mediocre, boredom-inducing waves, but that doesn’t mean surfing is out of the question. It’s still worth heading out the beach with board in tow. If nothing else, you’ll look cool and radical — like you belong in in Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer. Think of that film as your summer surf road map — from the looks, to the cars, to the destinations. Summer is about adventure, and even if you’ve never surfed before, you should definitely try it. It’s a liberating feeling, moving forward under the power of mother nature’s magnum opus. Even in the dog days of summer, it’s never too late to explore your local break. For bonus points, drive there in a late ’40s International KB1 Panel Van or a Citroën 2CV.
Additional contribution by AJ Powell, John Zientek, Michael Finn and Tanner Bowden.
Don’t be a kook.
The gear below will keep you comfortable in warm water, letting you get your toes wet on the small peelers that summer is known for. These aren’t your firing, big wave kits; they’re geared towards lazy mornings paddling out in the lineup at your local break. Each kit was put together with a different water temperature in mind, ranging from brisk dawn patrol paddles to balmy tropical sessions.
The Bean by Solid Surf Co. $599+
The Aegean Towel by Tesalate $59
Leash by Dakine $24+
Dorry Boardshort by Pilgrim Surf Supply $98
The Five Best Surf Shops in the U.S.
Thalia Surf | Location: 915 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA ⇱ | Learn More: thaliasurf.com
Pilgrim Surf Supply | Location: 68 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY ⇱ | Learn More: pilgrimsurfsupply.com
Surf n Sea | Location: 62-595 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI ⇱ | Learn More: surfnsea.com
Hansen Surfboards | Location: 1105 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA ⇱ | Learn More: hansensurf.com
Ron Jon | Location: 4151 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL ⇱ | Learn More: ronjonsurfshop.com
After Surf Essentials
Go from the waves to work in a blink.
Your warm-weather beachwear should be relaxed and simple. Solid-color board shorts are versatile; you can pair them with breathable button-front shirts and tees and go straight from the morning sand to a post-surf lunch in the city. Opt for casual footwear you can kick off once you hit the beach, and invest in some polarized sunglasses and a good hat to protect from those strong UV rays. There’s nothing precious here — things are going to get salty and sandy.